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Friday, January 21, 2011

Hereby Georgia, the under-signed?

File this under just-in-case-you-were-wondering.

The issue of teams over-signing has gotten a good deal of attention lately: Teams are limited to 85 total scholarships, and 25 new scholarship players. But a lot of teams get around that by signing as many players as they want, and then getting under each limit through a variety of ways that many see as unseemly.

Current players sometimes get a push out the door to get the program under the 85 number. And some recruits don’t qualify, or are gray-shirted, to get around the 25 number. (Basically, a team can sign as many players as it wants. The NCAA limit is on actual enrollment.)

Not that this is a new practice: Bear Bryant used to sign every player he could, saying that he’d prefer a key guy was sitting on his bench than starting for the other team. Eventually the NCAA cracked down, limiting scholarship allotments until it arrived at the 85 number in the 1990s.

So what is Georgia’s scholarship breakdown? Here you go:

- After the additions of Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia has 21 commitments. Its remaining top targets are RB Isaiah Crowell, DE-LB Ray Drew and NT John Jenkins.

If all three signed, that would leave room for at least one more recruit, and more if someone doesn’t qualify. (Christian LeMay and Chris Conley, who enrolled early, could also count towards last year’s number, but I’m not sure. Either way, it doesn’t look like it matters.)

- As for current scholarship players, Georgia now has 62 by my count, after the departures of A.J. Green and Justin Houston to the NFL, Tanner Strickland to early graduation, and Marcus Dowtin and Nick Williams to transfer. Of course scholarships are renewable on a year-to-year-basis, but for the sake of clarity, let’s say all players currently on scholarship remain so next season.

- That adds up to 83, and then 87 if Georgia goes all the way up to the freshman limit.

So that would be two over the scholarship limit – again, only if the Bulldogs enroll the limit of 25 freshman. Plus, it’s hard not to foresee a recruit or two not qualifying, or another player or two leaving for some reason.

I should point out that the Bulldogs had a few juniors “become seniors”, such as Charles White and Ben Harden. None of them ever said they were pushed out, but it’s very common for every program to have little-used players leave early.

Still, as the issue of over-signing gets more attention, clearly Georgia is not an egregious offender. If at all.


Tom said...

You can argue the only issue is why aren't we over signing by a recruit or two. We always have recruits not qualify or are asked to leave the them for off the field issues.

Don't get me wrong I don't want to committ blantant oversigning like Bama, Ole Miss and Auburn but I don't want UGA to continue to leave schlorships on the table due to off field dismissals and non qualifers.

PatinDC said...

Can you fill the scholly's at any time one is available after signing day?

I am thinking like open rush until chapter total. That kind of thing.